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Citation Guide: Abbreviations

A guide to citing your sources

Abbreviations p.233

OWL at Purdue for more information on abbreviations.

Time Designations p.235

Abbreviate months names longer than four letters used in journal and magazine citations. Use period.

  • Jan.
  • Feb.
  • Mar.
  • Apr.
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • Aug.
  • Sept.
  • Oct.
  • Nov.
  • Dec.

Publisher Names p.247

MLA suggests a few rules for you to follow when abbreviating publishers:

  • Cite only the last name of a publisher with the name of one person (e.g. Norton for W. W. Norton or Wilson for H. W. Wilson) and only the last name of the first listed for a publisher with multiple names (e.g. McGraw for McGraw-Hill)
  • Omit articles, business abbreviations (like Corp. or Inc.), and descriptive words (e.g. Press, Publishers, House)
  • Use the acronym of the publisher if the company is commonly know by that abbreviation (e.g. MLA, ERIC, GPO)
  • Use standard abbreviations when possible (e.g. Assn. or Soc.)
  • Use only U and P when referring to university presses (e.g. Cambridge UP or U of Chicago P)

Geographic Names p.236

Abbreviate geographic names of states and countries in book citations when the publisher's city is not well known or could be confused with another city. Abbreviate country, province, and state names.

  • Charleston, WV
  • Charlotte, NC

Use common two letter state abbrevations, all upper case:

  • WV
  • NY
  • CA
  • DC